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Introducing Democratic Republic Of The Congo

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Virunga © Cai Tjeenk Willink

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been inhabited by people for almost 90,000 years. It is home to fascinating biodiversity and dramatic vistas, as well as a complex history involving Bantu kings, slavers, colonisers, dictators, and conservationists.

Kinshasa, the sprawling capital of the DRC, is situated on the banks of the Congo River - opposite Brazzaville, capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo. The Congo River, made famous by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley, runs across the north of the country and remains an important transportation artery into the country's impenetrable interior - the roads and railway built by the Belgium colonial regime have long-since been reclaimed the by the jungle. Kinshasa, the sprawling capital of the DRC, is situated on the banks of the Congo River - opposite Brazzaville, capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo. The Congo River, made famous by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley, runs across the north of the country and remains an important transportation artery into the country's impenetrable interior - the roads and railway built by the Belgium colonial regime have long-since been reclaimed the by the jungle.

Everyday life in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be extremely chaotic. This vast country (the third largest on the continent) currently exists in a state of fragile peace after decades of civil war. However, this peace has come at the cost of a functioning democracy with current president, Joseph Kabila, thwarting attempts at a new democratic election; as a result, clashes between police and protesters can break out. Despite these tensions international investors are slowly returning to the country, drawn by its enormous mineral wealth.

Tourists are also trickling back. Most are drawn to the Virunga National Park in the far east of the country, one of the few places where you can still find mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Bordering Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains and the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga was established in 1925 as Africa's first national park. Most of the DRC is off limits for mainstream tourism; however, businessmen, diplomats, aid workers and others with essential business are well-catered for in some good hotels and restaurants, chiefly in Kinshasa's affluent Gombe district.

Introducing Democratic Republic Of The Congo

#
Virunga © Cai Tjeenk Willink

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been inhabited by people for almost 90,000 years. It is home to fascinating biodiversity and dramatic vistas, as well as a complex history involving Bantu kings, slavers, colonisers, dictators, and conservationists.

Kinshasa, the sprawling capital of the DRC, is situated on the banks of the Congo River - opposite Brazzaville, capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo. The Congo River, made famous by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley, runs across the north of the country and remains an important transportation artery into the country's impenetrable interior - the roads and railway built by the Belgium colonial regime have long-since been reclaimed the by the jungle. Kinshasa, the sprawling capital of the DRC, is situated on the banks of the Congo River - opposite Brazzaville, capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo. The Congo River, made famous by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley, runs across the north of the country and remains an important transportation artery into the country's impenetrable interior - the roads and railway built by the Belgium colonial regime have long-since been reclaimed the by the jungle.

Everyday life in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be extremely chaotic. This vast country (the third largest on the continent) currently exists in a state of fragile peace after decades of civil war. However, this peace has come at the cost of a functioning democracy with current president, Joseph Kabila, thwarting attempts at a new democratic election; as a result, clashes between police and protesters can break out. Despite these tensions international investors are slowly returning to the country, drawn by its enormous mineral wealth.

Tourists are also trickling back. Most are drawn to the Virunga National Park in the far east of the country, one of the few places where you can still find mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Bordering Uganda's Rwenzori Mountains and the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga was established in 1925 as Africa's first national park. Most of the DRC is off limits for mainstream tourism; however, businessmen, diplomats, aid workers and others with essential business are well-catered for in some good hotels and restaurants, chiefly in Kinshasa's affluent Gombe district.